Cut away, cut away
Shuttered Heights cocktail bar shakes up new life with downtown location
One Armed Scissor has found a new home, owner Michael Molina tells CultureMap. Previously connected to the Heights location of Hughie’s Tavern, the popular cocktail bar will reopen this fall at 208 Travis St (formerly Chupacabra and Iron & Oak).
As Molina explains, One Armed Scissor developed a following in the Heights, but it didn’t have enough “synergy” with the Vietnamese restaurant to share a space with it. Still, he learned a lot from the experience that he’ll bring to the bar’s new location.
“I learned how to be a technically proficient bartender at Woosters. I learned production and creation and menu development at Moving Sidewalk,” Molina says. “At our previous location, I learned about building relationships with patrons and guests and also with staff. Those people were extremely loyal, and I will be loyal to them as well.”
Indeed, it’s the opportunity to build relationships with his customers that lured Molina to choose to open on Travis Street rather than as part of the nightlife district that’s emerged on Main Street near downtown's Market Square. The bartender says he likes the slightly slower pace that comes with the address, as well as the slightly older demographic that he thinks will appreciate One Armed Scissor.
“I have this belief that the couple of blocks of Main Street are shifting younger. I have this belief that that area is going to be your Bourbon Street, your Rainey Street,” he says. “I think off-Main is more of your East 6th, your Frenchman street. We’ll let Main have the tourist traffic and the young kids. Over there, I think we can create a neighborhood bar.”
From Molina’s perspective, that slight older crowd — more 25 to 35 than the 21 to 25-year-olds he’s seen behind the bar at Moving Sidewalk — allow him to deliver the style of service he wants to provide. At a time when patio bars are all the rage, One Armed Scissor provides a quieter, more intimate experience. He’s also reached out to some local chefs for a series of food pop-ups. Asked up to sum up the concept, Molina is succinct.
“We believe in service, product, and atmosphere,” Molina says. “You’re going to great amazing service, great products, and an atmosphere where we’re not talking down to you.”